In this video segment adapted from ATETV, learn about a community college program in engineering graphics. Meet Ashley Baur, a young mother and student working towards an engineering technology graphics degree. Hear how she developed an interest in architecture after taking a drafting course in high school and then researched how she could get into the field. She talks about some of the skills she is acquiring (such as computer-aided design) and discusses several reasons why a community college program works for her, among them affordability and location.
Engineering graphics programs teach students how to effectively communicate technical ideas and designs visually, in the form of engineering drawings. Engineering drawings are technical drawings used to convey all the information needed to build something. They are used in a variety of fields, including building design, construction, product development, and manufacturing. An engineering drawing should accurately capture geometric features (such as shape and dimensions) as well as provide other information (such as materials to be used). In layout and schematic drawings, information such as the direction of electrical or fluid flow may also be indicated.
Traditionally, engineering drawings were created by hand, using tools such as pencils, rulers, T-squares, and compasses. Today, they are more commonly made using computer programs. Computer-aided design (CAD) has a number of advantages over freehand drawing. First, CAD saves time and money because the software offers greater accuracy and reduces drawing errors. When changes are needed, designers can revise their computer-generated drawings quickly and easily, without having to start over. CAD software allows for the creation of digital models in three-dimensions, which can be manipulated, viewed from different angles, and even animated. Electronic drawings can easily be shared with and accessed by people in different locations, improving communication and efficiency. And finally, drawings can be programmed directly into automated manufacturing systems.
There are several paths students can take to gain the skills necessary for a career in engineering graphics. Technical schools, community colleges, and some four-year colleges and universities offer courses and programs that prepare students for careers as drafters and engineering graphics technicians. For many students, technical schools and community college programs are good options. Both provide valuable hands-on experience and cost less than state or private colleges and universities. In addition, these programs are designed to serve a diverse student population—for example, students of various ages and levels of education and experience. They often offer evening, weekend, or online classes, which may be more convenient for students with families or full- or part-time jobs. While both technical schools and community colleges offer training in technical fields, community college may be the better option for students planning to transfer to a four-year program, or for students who also want to take classes outside of their specialization.
As seen in the featured video, Ashley had an interest in architecture and drafting, and she knew that she needed more education in order to work in that field. She chose to attend a community college graphics engineering program not only to gain the skills she needed, but because of its affordability, convenient location, and flexible schedule. When she completes her two-year degree, she should be able to find a position as a drafter in an architectural or engineering firm.
Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.